What Next?

RECENTLY, LIBERIA’S PEACE Ambassador, George M. Weah, described peace and reconciliation in Liberia as a major factor to the safety of citizens in the country.

Mr. Weah said in order to sustain peace in post-war Liberia; Liberians should put aside their political, tribal and religious differences and work in the interest of the country.

THE PEACE AMBASSADOR said the peace and reconciliation initiative should focus on social justice and equal participation to ensure that the peace process yields its anticipated result. Ambassador Weah spoke  recently at the official launch to kick-start the implementation of National Reconciliation Road map for Liberia.

THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE Conference on peace and reconciliation which brought together several Government officials and some International partners was intended to reawaken the spirit of peace and reconciliation in the country.

ALSO SPEAKING, PRESIDENT Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on National Reconciliation said Liberians’ commitment to the peace process is genuine to the development of the country. The President in her statement encouraged every Liberian to join the struggle of peace and reconciliation in Liberia.

SHE SAID PEACE and reconciliation are about changing minds and attitudes toward the past and not about political interest.

WE WELCOME THE many activities that characterized the launch of the Peace and Reconciliation over the weekend intended to foster peace and national reconciliation in the country as Liberians are yearning for lasting peace and national healing following nearly 14 years of civil upheaval that devastated the entire Liberian society.

NOW THAT THE three-day festival has ended in Monrovia, the baffling question now is what next? What is the roadmap to obtaining national healing and reconciliation in the country? We are concerned because the three-day events cannot reconcile over the three million Liberians especially those in the leeward counties where many of the citizens were victimized in the conflict.

OUR CONCERN NOW is how the Weah Reconciliation Committee can ensure that those who are still disgruntled and aggrieved be part of this reconciliation process because these soccer matches and musical festivals cannot address the prevailing situations in the country.

WE CANNOT OBTAIN national reconciliation if few of the citizens are benefiting from the nation’s resources while the majority of the citizens go hungry daily. A cabinet minister or director cannot be receiving thousands of dollars monthly as salary while civil servants are given only US$100. This much-talked about reconciliation can only be achieved if the nation’s resources are equally distributed.

THAT IS WHY we are urging Mr. Weah and his team to first of all identify the roadmap to achieving national reconciliation. Can this process be achieved by putting bread on the people’s table or by organizing soccer events? Let us design new strategies in addressing the many problems including the economic situation if indeed we are serious for this reconciliation process. Let the process reach out to other parts of the country ensuring that the people benefit from the country’s wealth.

THE WEAH COMMITTEE must inform the government that the people need to be empowered; that they need to benefit from the nation’s resources and that they need the opportunity to send their children to schools that only the elites’ children are attending because of the continuous hike in the fees of tuition.

IF THESE AND many others are done, we believe Liberia will be on the right path for genuine peace and reconciliation.

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